Planning an Olympic parade is hard work

Rest assured that plans for parades to welcome our local Olympians home to Saranac Lake and Lake Placid are underway.

Dates and details are not yet set. The state Olympic Regional Development Authority is organizing a parade in Lake Placid, and in Saranac Lake the Women’s Civic Chamber and village officials are pulling it together.

It’s incredibly hard to organize one of these parades, and we want to thank the people who do so. First off, they have many different interests and players here in the Tri-Lakes area to deal with, from local government officials to community groups to bigger agencies to school children — and of course we want lots of kids marching down Main Street in these parades.

But perhaps even trickier is coordinating all the local Olympians’ schedules to hold the parade at a time when as many of them as possible are here — and relatively soon, before the Olympic fire in people’s hearts has died down too much.

For instance, in the sports of luge and bobsled, the Olympics ended the World Cup season, but biathlon and alpine skiing have more overseas competitions on the calendar through March 18. (Actually, the World Cup biathlon season ends March 25, but the U.S. team is boycotting the final event in Russia out of protest for tolerance of Russian doping.)

But while one would think the lugers and bobsledders could get here sooner, they have other places to be, too. Newly minted silver medalist Chris Mazdzer, who grew up in Saranac Lake, has been making the rounds of TV morning shows and the New York Stock Exchange, and probably has more to do. While it may seem frivolous, it’s critically important to USA Luge that he take advantage of this moment to maximize the sport’s visibility in this country and ultimately help raise money for the organization — which is based right here in Lake Placid.

The same goes for repeat silver medalist bobsledders Elana Meyers Taylor and Lauren Gibbs promoting their sport, and thus helping raise funds and awareness for the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, which is also based here in Lake Placid.

On the other hand, some national media coverage for a welcome home parade in Chris Mazdzer’s hometown, for example, would also do wonders for the sport and, more so, to promote the truism that our area is a sacred place for winter sports in the U.S.

So thank you, local parade organizers. We appreciate what you do, and we are eager to be there with smiles on our faces and cameras in our hands to capture these wonderful moments.